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Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

By Stacy Painter
July 12, 2022 • 2 min. read
Shiba Inu dog with cherry dangling in foreground

The quick answer: Proceed with caution. The fruit is safe in moderation if you first remove the pit and stem.

Benefits of cherries to dogs

Cherries are nutritious fruit that contains vitamin A and C, fiber, antioxidants and melatonin. However, when fed a balanced dog food, your pet doesn’t need cherries to get the nutrients he needs to stay healthy.

Hazards of cherries to dogs

It’s imperative to remove the pits and stems before allowing your dog to try a bite of cherry. The pit, stem, and leaves of a cherry contain cyanide which can cause cyanide poisoning. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include dilated pupils, bright red gums, and labored breathing. Contact your veterinarian if your dog gobbles up a few whole cherries with pits.

Swallowed cherry pits can also cause an internal blockage, especially in smaller breeds. Symptoms of intestinal blockage include vomiting, decreased appetite, and constipation due to the inability for food to pass through the digestive system.

Dogs should only eat cherries in moderation because they can cause gastrointestinal issues and diarrhea. For pet parents looking to treat their dog to some fruit, cherries are not the ideal choice. It may not be worth the effort to remove each cherry pit, and dogs should not eat many cherries anyway. When sharing fruit, opt for a more dog-friendly option like an apple or banana.

Cherries that have been canned or jarred, such as maraschino cherries, should be avoided because they contain high amounts of added sugar. The sugar can cause upset stomach and weight gain.

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Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for a pet insurance company was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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